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Can You Buy Success In The Premier League?

Can you buy success in the Premier League? A TonyBet infographic

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Did Harry Redknapp Simply Forget About Richard Dunne?

Richard_Dunne

Was I the only person who looked at the QPR line-up last weekend and thought Harry Redknapp gave Richard Dunne a sympathy place in his team?

It’s as if he had forgotten about the Irishman when Rio Ferdinand signed up for the London side this summer.

To be honest it’s easily done. I had totally forgotten about Dunne, until it was announce in July that he’d quit the Irish national team. Something I thought he had done back in 2012 after the Euros. I am sure Martin O’Neill wont be losing any sleep over the Dunne’s decision.

Now I don’t mean to be disrespectful of Richard Dunne. He’s had a fine career in the EPL and for his national team, where he won 80 caps.

He has been a solid and dependable defender representing Everton, Man City, Aston Villa and QPR since his debut in 1997.

But the centre-back is now approaching his thirty-fifth birthday and to put it politely he is becoming ever so cumbersome and slow.

Yet Harry Redknapp has decided to pick him in a back three and on the left-handside of that unit.

Against Hull City, you could see Dunne was extremely uncomfortable in his new role.

See the only way a back three works with slow veterans is by playing them in the middle or on their preferred side.

But that is where Harry has a problem. In the centre spot he has new boy Rio Ferdinand. Rio is almost a year older than Dunne and his experience at Man  United along with his relationship with boss Redknapp gives him the nod for the central role. Whilst on the right, QPR have big summer signing Steven Caulker. He cost £8m and to keep him happy, Harry will play him on the right where Caulker is happier.

In my opinion, you can’t have three at the back and have two of those three being over thirty-four. I just think an experienced defender in that system works better if he has players with legs in and around him covering up on any issues like mistakes or lack of pace.

I also go with the phrase ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’. I honestly think a player like Nedum Onuoha would adapt easier on his wrong-side especially with Ferdinand there to talk him through it. I also believe he’d be better at coming forward with the ball at his feet.

But to be honest if I were Harry Redknapp, I’d play with a back four. Caulker would learn from playing alongside Rio Ferdinand week in week out. They also have plenty of full-backs, yet not a left-sided central defender. You can’t just force your personnel into any old system.

I also wonder what QPR’s many wingers think of the 3-5-2 formation. It will mean plenty of bench time for some and it also hampers their creative side.

It’ll be interesting to see if Harry spends again on yet another centre-back, keeps with Dunne or decides to go for four at the back.

Back in the top flight the wrong system and tactics can cost you vital points and leave you adrift. But Harry and his squad will hope their experience can tell and keep them up this term.

PS. I feel really sorry for QPR’s other centre-back, club captain Clint Hill. Another star in his mid-thirties who’ll be lucky to break into the first eleven this season!

Product Review: COPA T-Shirts

Waiting-for-James

I have been a big fan of COPA Football for a while now. I love the designs and the huge thought process that goes into designing all their garments.

It’s a Dutch company that use exciting graphic designers from all around the world. When you purchase your new t-shirt, its great fun to go onto the COPA website and find out who designed it.

Garrincha Tshirt

For example the top above is of Garrincha and it was the first COPA t-shirt that I bought. Now I know, it was designed in Argentina by Gonza Rodriguez. It will be hard to find that kind of detailed info with the big companies such as Nike and Adidas. The customer feels part of the company, which is a really nice touch.

The reason for the Garrincha purchase is because I am almost obsessed with the mans story. I would hate for his story to be forgotten.

Now the main reason I bought these t-shirts is simple: They are well designed and are football related tops that adults can wear. They are conversation starters as people inevitably ask me ‘who that is?’ Or ‘where did you get that t-shirt from?’.

Gazzetta della COPA

The ‘Gazzetta della COPA‘ shirt harks back to my childhood. I wrote about my love for Calcio back in 2011. A lot is down to this pink paper and a certain Channel 4 programme from the 90s fronted by Mr James Richardson. I’ve also pointed out more than a few times that my footballing idol is Ronaldo, who makes a cameo on the t-shirt.

I like to think I suit pink.

Both shirts that I have are made from 100% cotton and in Portugal with a supersoft finish. The Gazzetta does feel slightly softer, almost velvety in texture.

Ideal garments to wear to the beach, the pub or to a BBQ.

If you wish to buy a T-Shirt then checkout the range at FootballNation, where I got mine!

Note on Pictures: As regular readers now know, I do all my own pictures for the product reviews and call it Marketing Art.

With the Gazzetta della COPA shirt I’ve tried to recreate a scene. That scene is of a cafe in Italy, with an ice-cream sundae, bitter lemonade and an espresso. Typical of the scenes that we would see each and every Saturday on Channel 4, when James Richardson did his newspaper reviews of Football Italia. I watched the show religiously.

The top image has the t-shirt set out like a newspaper, then as it goes from left to right it turns out to be a t-shirt. The second one has a graphic that makes it look more 90s in my opinion.

The Garrincha one is a bit darker. It was taken on a beach, that represents Brazil. We also have a miniature of whisky and a tumbler with some of the whisky in it. Garrincha was a big drinker, the whisky also represents my Scottishness. The dark filter represents the vicious cycle that Mane Garrincha always seemed to be in with depression, alcoholism and tragic events that followed him around. The yellow of the t-shirt represents his creativity and the happiness he’d find in a Brazilian top.

Classy Cesc Already Chelsea Magician

cesc

After a four year hiatus from the English Premier League, Cesc Fabregas has returned in a similar style in which he left with a man of the match award on his Chelsea debut.

It was odd seeing the Spaniard playing in Chelsea blue rather than Arsenal red but he was still a joy to watch.

I’m very interested to see how Cesc does at Stamford Bridge because it seemed odd that it didn’t work-out when he returned to Barcelona. His homecoming was meant to be the start of something special yet he left without much fuss.

His stats with the Catalan giants weren’t shoddy. He made 151 appearances, scoring 42 goals and helping out with 48 assists.

Yet for some reason the twenty-seven year old just didn’t seem to fit in at his former club. The Spanish league side failed to really nail him down to a single position. He’d rotate between central midfield, attacking midfield, on the right and as a false nine. Really his preferred role was in the centre of midfield and that was where Xavi played.

But that was going to change this summer with Xavi announcing that he was to move on. But rather than keep Cesc, Barca decided to sell him to Chelsea and persuade Xavi to stay on for one more year.

Now their seems to be two reasons for this policy. One is that they needed to bring in cash to help in their massive recruitment drive this summer. So Cesc and Alexis Sanchez were viewed as the expensive commodities they needed the least. Financial Fair Play (FFP) seems to be playing on every teams mind this year. The other reason seems to be that quite a lot of fans at the Camp Nou had decided to turn their backs on Cesc and blame him for the troubles they had last term.

Fabregas also had a big falling out with Vicente Del Bosque during this summers World Cup. The Spanish coach decided not to pick the new Chelsea man after a training ground disagreement.

So it what Cesc Fabregas was heading back to London? A sullen footballer who had aged and had fallen out of love with the game?

Not if yesterdays debut against Burnley was anything to go by. He was Chelsea’s midfield maestro pulling the strings and weaving his magic all over the park.

His passing was sublime. His success rate was slightly over 87% and he made two assists. His delicious pass inside for Andre Schurrle’s goal was majestic. It showed that was where he was meant to play all along and that Barca had misused him for the past three seasons.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho spotted straight away that Cesc was the ideal performer to play alongside the pragmatic Nemanja Matic. The duo will be hard to beat and on the ball Fabregas will provide sumptuous passes for the forwards in front of him. Mourinho has placed trust in Fabregas to takeover from the ageing Frank Lampard. No doubt he also put an arm around the 92 times capped international and told him he can become a Chelsea great.

It looks like Jose has instilled belief back into Cesc Fabregas’ play and the player is once again hungry to prove himself as a Premier League stalwart.

But lets not get too carried away, its only been one game so far. We all know that football can’t be judged on 90 minutes alone. But if he can play throughout the season in that kind of form then it will be hard to imagine the league trophy not going back into Jose’s hands!

Frascati: A Wedding, Food Porn And An Italian Legend

Frascati

Five years ago this month I was in Frascati, just outside Rome. It was a place I’d never heard of, but my brother and his fiancee at the time had been and fell in love with the town. So they decided to get married there.

I was very privileged to be asked to be my brother Paul’s best-man. The whole occasion was wonderful and us Scots impressed the locals with our dashing kilts.

I had learned that Frascati had a team at that time Lupa Frascati but last season they moved 29km south to Aprilia and were renamed Lupa Roma FC. I would pass the old ground in Frascati each day as I headed from the hotel to the town.

Now this was all before I had this blog. So I wasn’t as well versed in the footballing culture of the town as I should have been. That said it seemed like a very relaxed place, where football was an afterthought. That said, I did see the Lazio youth team walking about the town centre one day.

The holiday and wedding were both fantastic. In Italy, one of the countries major passions is food. Frascati is no different.

At the wedding we had a huge banquet just to welcome us all back from the service, then we all sat down to a carb heavy five course meal. It was absolutely wonderful, but also slightly mental (I felt like a turkey being fattened up for Christmas).

When you go through the town and it’s all food and drink (Frascati is also famous for their wine) orientated too. Cantinas, restaurants, gelaterias (ice-cream parlours), Pizzerias, bars, food stalls and bakeries line the streets. It’s impossible to go hungry when you visit Frascati.

The Bakeries were always joyous to walk past with the smells of bread inviting and the cakes looking superb. Now many of you will believe I’m describing your idea of heaven and that this is the food porn part of the article.

Yeah not quiet. The bakers in Frascati literally have food porn in the windows, just incase you needed to be enticed further. There would be rows and rows of cookies in the window. They would be not to dissimilar in look to gingerbread men. But the main difference is that these biscuit ladies would have their ‘bits’ out. The little Frascati delicacies would show off their ‘THREE boobs!’.

3boobedCookie

It was quite bewildering. My brother Paul is a big lover of all things Italian (hence why he got married there) and has also learned the language. He told me the reason for the cookie.

This is what I can remember of that story. She has three breasts, two containing milk and the other wine. They were used to feed the town. Now if that is wrong, I apologise.

To be honest I thought my affair with that small, glorious town just outside of Rome would finish there.

But as Paul and Lauren left for Frascati to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary, Lauren told me of this bakery that was run by the family of  former Italian footballer.

They knew no more but had noticed more information in the bakery. So they agreed to send me a picture and I would see if this man was any good.

amedeo_amadei

When they returned they sent over the pics and I did some digging about. It turns out the player was AS Roma legend Amedeo Amadei.

He was indeed a Frascati native born there on the 26th of July 1921.

As a footballer, he made his debut with AS Roma as a fifteen year old in 1937. He would score his first goal a week later. To this day Amedeo remains both the youngest ever player to play in Italy’s top flight and the youngest scorer too!

Amadei would play for Roma twice as well as staring for Atalanta , Inter and Napoli. He also represented ‘Gil Azzurri’ thirteen times, scoring on seven occasions. He was also selected by Italy for the 1950 World Cup in Brazil.

It turned out Amedeo Amadei was a very prolific goalscoring striker. His stats were fantastic. He managed 116 goals in 234 Serie A appearances for ‘I Giallorossi’.

As a player he played with guile, pace and possessed great technical skills. He would play up-front and on both wings during his career.

During World War Two, Serie A only stopped for one season (1944-45). Amedeo would clinch his only league title with Roma during the war years (1941-42). That title would actually be the capital sides first ever Scudetto.

He would end up managing Napoli between 1956-61 although Annibale Frossi took charge for a few months in 1959. Signore Amadei would also take charge of the national ladies team during most of the seventies.

The great man would hold two nicknames. He was called l’Ottavo Re di Roma translating as the eighth king of Rome, he would be inducted into AS Roma’s hall of fame. He was also known as il Fornaretto (the little baker). Why il Fornaretto? Well his family ran that bakery in Frascati, established in 1876!

A young Amedeo would help the family business out by delivering bread to other shops in the town. The story goes that Amedeo skipped his bread duties to go to a trial for Roma. His dad would try and persuade his young son that his career was destined to be with the oven but his family helped out and he realised his dream and he became a footballer.

In November last year Amedeo Amadei passed away aged 92. He died back where it all started, in his home town. The streets of Frascati were mobbed with mourners, saddened by the death of a beloved hero.

The bakery still stands and it’s great that they still honour Amedeo. I wish I knew his story five years ago when I was in Frascati, tasting the three boobied cookies (a bit solid for my liking).

This is why I love the internet and having a blog. I learned about a gentleman who I found affinity with just because I happened to visit his home town one summers day five years ago. Now I can write this and say ‘Ciao Amedeo Amadei and grazie for catching my imagination!’ 

Also congratulations Paul and Lauren on celebrating your five year anniversary and thank you for asking me to be the best man at your wonderful wedding.

In the picture below I like to think I am signing for AS Roma…

MeWedding

 

Real Madrid And Barca To Fight It Out In Biggest Pressure Cooker Yet!

La Liga logo

 

After Atletico Madrid’s famous, yet unexpected title triumph last season both Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are determined to once again reach the Spanish summit and become La Liga champions. That’s why both sides have thrown a lot of money at the transfer market hoping to out do each other!

That means that 2014-15 could be one of the biggest and highly anticipated seasons in Spain ever.

At the Nou Camp, Barca have dumped coach Gerardo Martino (now Argentina’s head coach) and brought in club legend Luis Enrique. The new head coach had a so-so season at Roma and helped Celta Vigo attain a respectable ninth spot in La Liga last term. The huge bonus about bringing in Enrique is his knowledge of the Barca way. He played for the team for eight seasons making 3oo appearances. He has also managed the Barca B side and knows a lot of the existing squad. He knows what is expected and how to win and keep the Los Cules happy.

The Catalan giants spent around £75m on Liverpool’s Luis Suarez. That means Barca will have a front three of Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi. Neymar has made great progress in his rehab, from his broken back injury suffered at the World Cup, and should be fit for the start of the season. Messi had a fine World Cup but he always seems to do even better for his club side. Plus lets not forget he’ll want to take the Ballon d’Or away from Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Suarez can help his new employers as long as he produces the performances that saw him win the Player of the Year awards in England last season and stay away from biting folk!

Another huge plus has been that the new manager has managed to persuade Xavi to stay on for another year. The Nou Camp lost a big leader when Carles Puyol retired in the summer and with midfielder Cesc Fabregas departing for Chelsea, the squad needed Xavi and his experience to hang around for a bit longer. The thirty-four year old club captain can also help take pressure off of the shoulders of new recruit Ivan Ratkitic. The Croatian had a terrific campaign last year with Sevilla but can learn a lot from both Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

Another long-term star that decided to leave is keeper Victor Valdes. Barcelona have brought in two very capable goalies to fight it out for that top spot. I’m a big believer in competition making players better and that includes those in between the sticks. Youngster Marc-Andre ter Stegen comes in from Borussia Monchengladbach. The German internationalist will be viewed as a long term number one. But first he has to fight off Chile’s Claudio Bravo for the gloves. Bravo had a fine World Cup and also has eight years of La Liga experience to call upon. It’ll be interesting to see how Enrique deals with his goalkeepers and if he can keep them both happy.

One of Barca’s problems as of late has been dealing in new defenders that strengthens the pool. As I’ve already pointed out the departure of Puyol has left a big hole in the squad. None more so than in defence. But President Josep Maria Bartomeu has responded by bringing in Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen. Both are experienced, dependable and versatile (left-back or centre-back) defenders. All in all they add numbers to a position that needed them. That said I hope Marc Bartra doesn’t get lost in these numbers and manages to get some game time.

I think Barcelona have bought well and offset that with the sales of Cesc Fabregas, Bojan and Alexis Sanchez. With Puyol and Valdes going it will be interesting to see how the squad copes without their presence on the pitch and training field. I wonder how much the suspended transfer ban played on their minds when the decided to spend big on these six new arrivals.

Over at the Bernabeu, Real Madrid have been busy too.

They’ve also decided to bring in a new guard of the goals, with Keylor Navas coming in from Levante for a fee of £8.8m. The Costa Rican, in my opinion, was the best performing goalkeeper at the World Cup. The twenty-seven year old will believe he is the man to finally dispose Real legend Iker Casillas from his throne. The arrival of Navas has also meant that Diego Lopez was no longer needed and he has left for Milan.

Toni Kroos could be an inspired signing for the European champs. The German World Cup winner is extremely dependable. He manages to keep the ball moving and had an impressive 90%+ passing success rate last season with Bayern Munich. Kroos is the man who will help start everything off for Los Merengues. He should prove to be a bargain at €25m.

President Florentino Perez always loves a ‘Galactico’ marquee signing. That usually means buying the best player at a World Cup. This summer has been no different for señor Perez as he’s managed to capture James Rodriguez for a reported £63m. The Colombian managed to light up the World Cup in Brazil with scintillating performances and scored some fantastic goals too (winning the golden boot). Coming in to Madrid the gifted attack minded star has to compete with Ronaldo and Gareth Bale for some time with the ball but he’s usually clever enough to find space. If he can develop an understanding with Ronaldo then the Portuguese superstar can look forward to scoring even more in a Madrid jersey as Rodriguez has an eye for a killer pass!

I think that between the three new boys in Madrid, the most expensive signing James could take more time to settle in. He has that big price tag to weigh him down and it took the twenty-three year old a few months to settle in at Monaco last term.

Another thing Real have struggled to do is balance the squad, they probably need to sell one or two more faces. In central midfield they have Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric Xabi Alonso and Asier Illaramendi all fighting it out for two starting berths. Whilst in the creative roles they have Ronaldo, Bale, Rodriguez, Angel Di Maria, Isco and Jese.

But I’m sure boss Carlo Ancelotti will have plans in place to sort all those issues out. I’d imagine they’d sell at least one more before deadline day, but would they then go out and sign Radamel Falcao?

Both clubs look strong and capable of doing well both domestically and in Europe. It could be a tense season in Spain as the big two have spent huge sums and one of them at least will come away without the main trophy and that could be seen as a disaster. Because in Spain send place means nothing.

Both sides will also have to keep an eye on Diego Simeone’s men at Atletico Madrid. They were last seasons worthy champions and the Argentine boss will expect his troops to defend that title with honour and belief.

Whatever happens, it looks like we are all in for an exciting ride in Espana.

How To Increase Your Betting Odds

Online-bets

Sports betting is one of the most fun and rewarding type of gambling there is. With advancements in technology, you are now able to place your bets from the internet at any time of day or night. With more people switching from traditional gambling methods to online casinos, making some quick buck has become easier. If you are new to online betting, you are probably wondering how you may be able to increase your betting odds. Here are some tips to help you increase your odds when betting on various sports online.

One of the simplest ways to increase your odds when betting on sports is by using online sportsbooks that offer betting at reduced odds. For instance, some will allow you to bet on hoops/foots at -105 instead of -110. This will not only increase your chances of winning but also saves you loot. Some sportsbooks offer bonuses every few days or weeks or offer reload bonuses.

Another better way to increase your winning odds is by simply placing bets on a Red Flush online casino game that you love and understand. One of the most common mistakes most people make when betting online is waging on games that they hardly understand. To increase your odds, study the teams competing against one another and place your bets only when you are sure exactly what is happening. Follow up on your winning team and find out whether their best player will be in the game and what formation they are using. You will then study the opposing team and find out more about their team and formation. Note that when it comes to sports betting, you shouldn’t be a die-hard fan. Just because you love a certain team, doesn’t mean that you should always bet on them winning.

Having a formula when betting online can come in handy in more ways than one. Look for a strategy that works and stick to it. Here are some of the strategies you can use to increase your odds.

Bet Everything at all Times — Betting your entire bankroll can be very rewarding at times. You may end up getting big returns within the shortest period of time by using this strategy. However, there is a downside — when you lose, you lose everything. For this to work, make sure you are well versed with the sport you are betting on and the teams playing.

Fixed Wager — This technique requires a lot of patience and willpower. All you need to do is bet a fixed amount for every game and avoid the temptation to vary no matter how much you are winning. While your winnings increase at a slow and steady pace, you will have dramatically reduced the risks of losing all your money.

Martingale — This technique is quite simple and doesn’t require a lot of thinking. Whenever you incur a loss, all you have to do is double your stakes so that it is easy to cover your losses with winnings of the next bet. While the upside is good, it is important to note that sequential losses will force you to double your stakes more and you’ll soon be betting more money in order to cover losses.

Knowing your edge when betting on any sports makes it easy to use almost any technique to increase your odds. Understand your sport and you’ll be in a position to win more.

Assessing Van Gaal’s First Game In Charge At Man United

Louis-van-gaal

Most Manchester United fans were hoping that Louis van Gaal would bring in a new era and they could instantly forget the David Moyes tenure of last season.

But unfortunately for the United faithful, they might have a new manager but the side still seem to have the same frailties.

Last term United dropped far too many points at Old Trafford. Starting this campaign with a home defeat to Swansea City, really wasn’t what the ‘Red Devils’ were wanting or expecting.

The three man defence that started the game; Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and twenty year old Tyler Blackett looked a fragile unit. They improved slightly in the second-half when Van Gaal reverted back to a 4-4-2.

A strong and experienced centre-half is needed. A leader that can come in and make the others around him better.

They were also exposed on the flanks with attacking wingers filling in as wingbacks. It wasn’t a coincidence that Swansea’s goals came from United’s left. Blackett and Ashley Young weren’t comfortable in those areas.

Swansea’s Wilfred Bony and then Bafetimi Gomis worked to their strengths and caused the United defence plenty of problems.

As we all knew beforehand, Man Utd have lacked a powerful force in the central midfield position for a while now. Someone to marshall in front of the defence. Anyone who has seen Ki Sung-Yueng know he’s a danger at the edge of the box, yet no one in the United midfield was anywhere near him when he struck the opening goal.

Juan Mata is great when he finds space or delivers his first goal but he feels to press and that could be a key component in Van Gaal’s tactics. The Spaniard needs to get more involved.

Players like Nani and Young have never been consistent at Old Trafford. They wont get better as wingbacks. So the quicker Rafael and Luke Shaw get back the better. Plus signing another full-back could be a priority if Louis keeps playing 3-5-2.

Another key element to Van Gaal’s style is keeping possession. It would have been alarming for the Dutchman to watch his players give away the ball as much as they did against Swansea City.

Ander Herrara looks a neat player, so that will be seen as bonus but he’ll need time to settle in to life in England. Darren Fletcher still seems rusty when it comes to competitive football and that showed throughout the match.

Fair play to Swansea and Gary Monk by the way. He got his tactics spot on and spoiled it for United. They worked well as a unit and after they conceded their equaliser, they lose their heads and did well finding the winner.

Today’s display showed Van Gaal that he needs more personnel and in key areas. The side looked to pedestrian at times and they will get a kick up their collective arses to improve on that.

A lot of questions have to be asked of Edward Woodward too. They needed more than two new signings for this game and like last preseason he has differed and it has cost them points. He also needs to start shipping out more deadwood squad players.

It’ll be interesting to see how Man United recover for the Sunderland game next weekend but one thing is for sure if they don’t get in new recruits then this season could be another long one for them. Nothing in todays game showed that the red side of Manchester have regained their passion and pride.

But alas it is only the first game of the season. Remember David Moyes won his opening EPL fixture, beating Swansea 4-1. Things can still change dramatically!

Can Chelsea’s Costa Heat Up The Premier League?

Diego_costa_Chelsea

Watching Diego Costa struggle for Spain this summer it was hard to believe he was the same man that fired Atletico Madrid to La Liga glory last season. But the truth is, Costa was spent by the time he touched down in Brazil. He was injured and in desperate need of a rest.

Now he has arrived in England, signing for Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side in a £32m deal. But what striker will we see in the Premier League? The prolific toughman of Atletico or the impotent brute that failed to reach any heights with Spain?

Well they say never judge a player on a World Cup alone. Usually that means don’t run out and sign a player based on one good competition but the truth can be said about not making a harsh judgement based on a bad tournament either.

Costa has all the tools in his locker to really make it big in the EPL with the ‘Blues’.

The twenty-five year old is a big lad, who can definitely put it about a bit and mix it up with the best defenders in the land. He has a no-nonsense style that will intimidate opposing players from the get go. But he isn’t just a big lump of a striker that can only bash his way to goals. He has deceptive pace that can get him beyond markers and defenders can’t afford to get to close or he can spin them.

Diego can be explosive if he gets just a sniff at a goal, often electing to get his shots off with his first touch and usually keeping those shots low. That often takes defenders out the game and gives the goalkeepers less time to make the best decisions. The Brazilian born goalscorer is also capable of scoring with both feet and likes to improvise with his finishes too, not unlike Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Chelsea’s new number nineteen will hopefully create more opportunities for players like Willan, Andre Schurrle, Oscar and Eden Hazard too. As English defences try and get to grips with the bulky monster that could/should create space in and around the area for the creative forwards around him to exploit.

At Stamford Bridge he’ll have ideal leaders in Didier Drogba and John Terry. Drogba will be on hand to show the hitman how to use his strength as his best weapon. While Terry can get Costa used to the rough house tactic certain teams might employ on the striker in England.

A huge part of Costa’s style is gamesmanship. He irritates opponents, gets in their faces and starts rows at the drop of a hat. It’ll be interesting to see how many fouls he wins and gives away! Plus how will the Premier League refs deal with him? Will they target him? No doubt some of the better defenders will try and expose his volatile nature and get him carded.

No signing ever guarantees you goals these days. Chelsea’s £50m Fernando Torres is a prime example of getting it wrong. But with Costa I get the feeling he is tailor-made for the English Premier League and if he stays fit and out of trouble then he will be there or thereabouts in the top scorer charts come May 2015.

The JD Sports Score Predictor

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JD Sports have started an English Premier League predictor game. The retail company have weekly prizes on offer and the overall winner for the season will win a pair of tickets for next years Champions League Final in Berlin.

It’s free to register, so have a go yourself and get lucky!

But remember the season kicks-off tomorrow, so hurry and sign up.